PM Narendra Modi, on his visit to South Africa recently, paid special tribute to Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhiji. He held talks with Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi at Phoenix Settlement in Durban, South Africa on Saturday.
He traveled by train, sitting in General Class, along the same route taken by the young Gandhiji when he was thrown off the compartment in 1893 for ignoring a racist order to move from the first class compartment to the third class compartment.
It was this eventful journey that set the transition from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to Mahatma. This journey on June 7, 1893 steered Gandhiji to not only fight racial discrimination in South Africa but to spearhead the freedom struggle in India as well.
PM Modi visited various places of historical interest that linked South Africa with the Father of the Nation. He signed the visitor’s book at the Pietermaritzburg station and also inaugurated an exhibition at the waiting room of the station where Gandhiji was detained for the night for failing to obey the orders of a white man on the train on that fateful day.
PM Modi’s visits took him to the Phoenix Settlement in Durban which is also where Gandhiji spent some time. PM Modi planted a sapling there. He held talks with Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa on Friday night when both parties reached a common consensus where defence production, manufacture, mining and minerals were concerned and strengthened their resolve to fight against terrorism. The fight against diseases like AIDS and Ebola were also some of the priorities discussed at this meeting.